Let’s not beat around the bush. The Last of Us Part II is divisive amongst its players. Some adore the game, going to bat for it against any and all critiques. Others despise it, thinking the sequel ruined what made the original game so special. But no one can deny that Naughty Dog’s latest title is a technological achievement and that, in addition to its overwhelming notoriety, is why The Last of Us Part II is a no brainer for The Game Awards’ Game of the Year.
*Spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2 ahead*
Loved and Hated
After being plagued by massive leaks, The Last of Us Part II was set to turn some heads. Many of the game’s biggest twists were revealed without context, causing fans to express their anger across the internet. This in addition to the review bombings painted the sequel in a bad light and even when critical reception was extremely positive upon the game’s release, that wasn’t going to quiet those who didn’t appreciate the path Naughty Dog took.
The game took risks. Killing Joel and forcing you into the shoes of his murderer was a precarious choice, one that didn’t sit well with many. And with fans claiming Naughty Dog lied to its audience through marketing materials, The Last of Us Part II’s divergent storyline was set up to divide.
But how often do we see these types of risks in big studio titles like The Last of Us? The choices Naughty Dog made were bold and, while they didn’t sit well with some fans, they were praised by others. This, if anything, sparks discussion and visibility around the game. Something that could help it snag the Game of the Year award.
A Technical Masterpiece
Even if you didn’t prefer The Last of Us Part II’s narrative, there’s no denying the massive amounts of talent it took to make this game. The technological achievements are staggering, with the sound design, art direction, and the return of composer Gustavo Santaolalla being real standouts. Ashely Johnson and Laura Bailey who star as Ellie and Abby respectively also deliver masterclass works. Both transform completely into their roles and stand out in one of the many ways that makes The Last of Us Part II amazing.
We must not also forget how inclusive The Last of Us Part II is in terms of accessibility. The game boasts around 60 accessibility options including multiple audio and visual cues, high contrast modes, a completely customizable HUD, and mechanics to help players navigate towards supplies or enemies just to name a few. For the first time, The Game Awards will be celebrating Innovation in Accessibility, a category The Last of Us Part II is sure to take, and with that under its belt, Game of The Year doesn’t seem so far fetched.
The Last of Us Part II has another huge advantage in terms of its wide-spread notoriety. The game along with the studio, and even its director Neal Druckmann, are household names in the industry. They’ve made a name for themselves and could sway voters who have enjoyed their previous games. In addition, The Last of Us Part II has also garnered many awards throughout the season already. The most notable of these being its amazing showing at The Golden Joystick Awards where it took home best studio, best storytelling, best visual design, best audio, PlayStation Game of the Year, and Ultimate Game of the Year.
No other game this year has garnered more conversation than The Last of Us Part II. People know about this game and they talk about it. While positive and negative opinions fly around without warning, there’s no denying the sequel’s massive presence and technical prowess. The critical reception has been overwhelmingly positive and even during a year in which so many games deserve Game of the Year, The Last of Us Part II will surely take the win.
Next: Ghost Of Tsushima: Why It Will Win The Game Awards GOTY
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